Ungraspable Handrails On Short Stair Sets

First of all, I’d like to thank all the HI’s on this forum helping to clarify my numerous questions. I have learned that formal training and real world application are two very different beasts!

Here’s one of those questions that I couldn’t readily find an answer to:

I am aware that stair sets containing four or more risers require a handrail. What I have seen in a couple of instances are handrails on stairs with with less than four risers that are ‘ungraspable’ by residential standards.

Do we still call out an ungraspable handrail even though it wasn’t necessarily required?

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I do. If it is installed at all, it needs to be installed correctly.


[quote=“dmckeown2, post:1, topic:168697, full:true”] I have learned that formal training and real world application are two very different beasts!

Yes they are!! It’s like learning a different language from a book with out someone to talk in that language with you.

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I have to concur with that statement.

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Always. If it is installed, it needs to meet safety standards (code) regardless if it is actually necessary.


Great analogy!


I do all the time. It’s a safety issue. I call out uneven steps as a trip hazard as well. Usually the two are called out at the same time as the weekend home warrior decided to build poor steps with poor handrails at the same time.


Home owner thanked me for tearing his steps off! :grin:


Better notify your insurance agent… :wink:

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Haha! He was very thankful. They’ve been up/down these steps so many times, didn’t realize how unsafe they were! :wink:


Of course you call out defects (especially safety ones) required OR not required … IF for no other reason than to protect the most important person at the inspection … YOU !!

yes and the 4’’ pickets.

Now days, with many insurance carriers trying to minimize potential claims by requiring railings at any step structure greater than “one standard riser”, (which would depend on whatever version of whatever code the local AHJs are using), and wanting the railing retrofitted before issuing or, in some cases, renewing, a policy, it is a safety item of which we should be very aware. One day, it WILL be in the code-books. Insurance companies have ALWAYS been the driving force in the development of “codes”, AKA; SAFETY GUIDELINES.

Nice wide one today! :wink:

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Maybe BIG FOOT lives there…LOL

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